Seek First His Kingdom

By Scarlett Stough

"Repent!" Matthew records Jesus' opening sermon with this strong admonition to repent because the kingdom is near (Matthew 4:17). Later on Jesus taught his disciples they did not need to waste their energies worrying about what they were going to eat or where they would sleep, God would take care of that so they could be free "to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:25-34).

No need to panic; he did not mean we should all quit our jobs and stop planting our gardens or quit paying our mortgages. We still have to work and pay our bills, not neglecting our families or responsibilities. What we do is trust him for the outcome as we rely on him for wisdom and provision. We choose to do the right thing, not the expedient thing; we don't look for loopholes around God's clear directive that we be honest, moral, and just in our relationships with our neighbors, co-workers and employers.

Jesus warned against allowing the worries of this life choke out God’s life in us (Matthew 13:22-23). James encourages us to persevere:

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.
James 5:7-8

If we've been lax in our faith and our responsibilities, we can repent, return to putting God, his kingdom and his righteousness first in our lives. We can "rely on his love" (1 John 4:16).

Volume 17 Issue 09 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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